"Shri Suren Medhi, retired teacher of Assam Engineering College and a writer by passion passed away in the morning of 25th June 2011 (Saturday)after a brief illness. He was the son of late Kaliram Medhi, who was one of the founders of Asom Sahitya Sabha, and a well-known writer who preferred to write under a pen name. Throughout his life he believed that it was the work of a writer that the readers should be acquainted with and not the writer or his personal life and therefore worked very hard not to be identified. He left behind his wife and a daughter and host of other relatives".
This is possibly how Suren Medhi would have liked the news of his death to be covered by media. Today, while reading the host of write-ups on Saurabh Kumar Chaliha by almost all the who's who in the literary and social life of Assam and by some well-meaning, die-hard fans of the writer,I realized nobody actually respected him or his soul.
A man had painfully tried to remain anonymous throughout his life despite having the scope of busking in glory. It was his choice and not an easy one for him. He had been hounded several times to be exposed not because the excellent writings that he produced need a face but because exposing him would have been a great expose - a win against him and his soul. People wanted to know about him because he was such a great writer. But, what about the respect for his ideal - the philosophy of remaining faceless and living in his writings?
As if all of us were waiting for him to die. The moment he is dead, we all have forgotten the essence of his philosophy for which he lived - and died. The newspapers today were spread with photos, stories, memoirs and write-ups about how great he was; about how close he was to the writers; about what were the secrets of Saurabh Kumar Chaliha; about intricate details of his life and time. I am not doubting the intentions - all of them genuinely felt the loss, all of them are 100% genuine admirer of Saurabh Kumar Chaliha and all of them wanted to immortalize him.But in doing so, a unannounced competition on who can churn out the best collectors item has broken out. And thus, we have killed Saurabh Kumar Chaliha twice - his persona and his soul.